Chapter 10

Written by: SameerNagarajan

On the way to the castle, Mrs Ratleigh and Alwena stopped at a mountainside for the Wergrantor flower. Gretchin hovered close while Alwena plucked a single flower. They flew towards the castle with the flower safely in Mrs Ratleigh's cloak. 

Gacgon's bonds were loose - the Ispolin were unable to tie very fine knots. As the flapping neared, he manoeuvred to reach the flute and in the process, accidentally tore the packet of powder. He was alarmed but it didn't seem that the Ispolin, busy snarling and shouting, had noticed. 

Sargron bayed, the sound reverberating for miles around. Gretchin heard it and descended to the castle wall. She stood still while the women took in the details. She bared her fangs and growled when a dog-man came too close.  He yapped in panic and ran. 

“Don’t try anything,” snarled Sargron, “or Gacgon dies”.

Mrs Ratleigh and Gacgon looked at each other. She noted the little patch of grey powder at his feet. 

“Go away, dog,” she snapped. "There isn't anything for you here. Gacgon is of no consequence and we will destroy you. We have the Wergrantor.” 

Alwena picked up a loose twig from the ground, murmured a spell and hurled it at the nearest dog-man. Instantly, he was frozen into a stone statue, even as his terror-stricken friends yapped and ran for cover. 

Sargron yelled a spell and kicked an ember from the fire at Gacgon's feet. The flame caught. 

At that moment, Gretchin flew gently towards Gacgon. Mrs Ratleigh, perched on her back, leaned over and placed the flower in his mouth. 

He bit and the thick white juice flowed down his throat. He gripped the flute in his hand and murmured the spell through clenched teeth.  The yard erupted into flames and his flimsy bonds fell away. Gretchin flew away with Alwena and Mrs Ratleigh. The Ispolin, severely burnt, yelped as they tried to exit the castle in panic and disorder. The flames licked Gacgon's clothes but could not hurt him. He strode towards the castle entrance, not stopping to look back at the mayhem behind. 

A particularly loud wail rocked the castle as Sargron's feet were roasted. Gacgon listened attentively to the curse that he uttered as he died. 

There would be another battle, in another era, another place. But for a century or so, he had rid the place of the Ispolin and he would be acknowledged as the greatest sorcerer ever. 

 He walked to Mrs Ratleigh. "Gretchin is yours, born of your blood. Fly to the corners of the earth, but remember Gacgon Castle shall always be your home and every brick here shall speak your story."

Alwena smiled as he turned to her and offered his Castle as her own. It would be more durable and safe than her recent lodgings. 

Finally Gacgon looked at the Castle, where the flames were already going out, having destroyed all the Ispolin.  

'Until next time,’ he thought. 


Congratulations Sameer. This is a great finishing chapter. I really enjoyed the way you tied up the important threads - and left us not only satisfied with the conclusion, but also hopeful that just possibly, there may be more to this delightful and imaginative story still to come. Very well done. I look forward to reading more of your writing.
Thank you Gabrielle!
What I really liked this chapter's open ended finish. It gave the story a sense of stretching away into the distance which added to its sense of timelessness. You captured the characters and you held the feeling fantasy. Definitely JRR Tolkein feel. Excellent.
Thank you Suraya for the feedback and sorry for the delay in response!